Morning Read: An app uses lessons from social media to reduce readmission rates

Also, tampon wearables that serenade your fetus with music and a look at Vayyar’s 3D sensor technology.

Readmissions artTOP STORIES

Content will be light on the site today as MedCity staff take time off for the New Year’s holiday. We wish our readers a happy 2016!

A three month pilot of an app from health IT startup Prepared Health at Bayada Home Health Care reduced readmissions for heart surgery patients from 40 percent to under 11 percent. The thinking behind the app aimed at home health workers is that while patients might miss an email or a phone message, they are more likely to stay on top of Facebook and Instagram messages because they frequently check for updates. Prepared Health’s app en Touch invites members to share and refresh status reports by patient. The plan is to expand the app from professional caregivers to family members. — Crain’s Chicago Business, mHealth Intelligence

LIFE SCIENCES

Crispr-Cas9 has led to a breakthrough treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy,  using the technique to treat mice with a defective dystrophin gene. – The New York Times

A group of researchers at the University of Bordeaux in France has developed a technique that allows them to view the heat generated by cells’ biologic activity with thermal cameras or the equivalent of night vision goggles. The idea is that thermal cell behavior could indicate a disease. The team plans to use its technique to evaluate the impact of cancer fighting drugs. — Forbes

PAYERS-PROVIDERS

What we have here is a failure to communicate. At least that’s the subtext of a dispute between Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Kansas’ Medicaid system.  Hospital officials claim three insurance companies managing KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid system, routinely deny legitimate claims to hold down costs, often without explanation. Those companies deny the accusations. — Becker Hospital Review

A survey of nearly 500 pharmacists found that the number of prescriptions for unregulated compounded hormone therapy for menopause has reached an estimated 26 to 33 million a year, almost equal to the 36 million annual prescriptions filled for FDA-approved treatments. — Reuters Health

CVS Health will today begin administering and processing pharmacy benefit claims for 3.8 million WellCare Health plan members who take part in Medicaid, Medicare and Prescription Drug Plan programs across the country. — PR Newswire

One trend I noticed in 2015 was a lot of debate on the impact of mobile health apps on the role of physicians and patient trust. Here’s the latest throwdown in a discussion that looks like it will become more heated in the new year.  — Forbes

TECHNOLOGY

Given the rapid growth in Internet of Things technology, Vayyar looks like a company to watch in 2016. Here’s a profile of its 3D sensors designed to see through skin, tissue, to detect cancer massess such as breast cancer, detect structural foundations or fractures and track a person’s location and vital signs. — Forbes

Tampon wearables that serenade your fetus with music? Bet you didn’t see music therapy going there! — Jezebel

A LITTLE BIT EXTRA

Astronaut Leland Melvin shares how space travel affects the human body. If you are vertically challenged like me, you may be thrilled to hear that you get taller in space! — Gizmodo

Photo:  National Center for Policy Analysis blog